“I began to realise that if I was getting into so much trouble—owning my own house and a newspaper—what hope would a pensioner have?” Juanita Nielsen, 1973.
The Beehive will tell the story of Juanita Nielsen — a community journalist and anti-gentrification activist known for her distinctive beehive hairdo. Juanita fought for the right of low income communities to live in the inner city of Sydney, particularly in Kings Cross and Woolloomooloo. She campaigned against the violent eviction of long term tenants on Victoria Street who were being pushed out to make way for apartment blocks. She vanished in 1975, ‘believed murdered’. To this day, the crime remains unsolved.
Despite an enduring public fascination with Juanita Nielsen over four decades, only two feature films have touched on her story – neither included a character actually called Juanita. The Beehive will fill this void by telling Juanita’s story.
The Beehive won the inaugural $70,000 ACMI and Artbank commission and will premiere at ACMI in the latter part of 2018. This is a huge vote of confidence for the vision of the team and a large amount of money for a visual arts project – but it is just short of what we need to complete the film at the quality it deserves. This crowdfunding campaign will raise money for the post-production process – colour grading, audio mastering, music composition, titles and marketing. These things might sound like little details – but they are expensive and will make a huge difference in the quality of the finished film.